Coronavirus has had an unprecedented effect on the economy at both a national and a local level. The impact of the pandemic has been far-reaching and the long term implications are hard to predict.

We have created an Economic Renewal Plan and are building a wide-ranging package of business support initiatives. We want to help revitalise businesses and position them to make the most of future opportunities.

We have also formed a unique partnership with councils across North and Mid Essex to develop a business support and skills programme. This will help businesses recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. You can read more about the North Essex Economic Board.

In addition, you can visit:

The plan draws on our 2020 business survey and a sets out a number of priorities that we are already working on.

The plan's key themes are:

  • business support
  • promotion of Chelmsford
  • skills

You can download our Economic Renewal Plan.

We have developed a business support booklet detailing the range of support that we can offer your business. 

You will receive a copy of the booklet with your business rate bill.

We have partnered with Visit Essex to give targeted support to businesses in the visitor economy. We know that the visitor economy has been particularly hard hit over recent times. So, we are keen to work with Visit Essex and businesses to provide support in this area.

With the free Visit Essex membership, you will be able to have your own entry on with online booking facilities. Visit Essex will also include your business in relevant marketing activities and campaigns.

In addition, you can enjoy:

  • access to free training courses
  • invitations to Visit Essex events
  • monthly member newsletters and industry updates
  • access to Visit Essex’s image library for you to use freely on your website to promote what Essex has to offer

To apply for this fantastic opportunity, you need to submit the Visit Essex membership application form.

You can download the Visit Essex’s Terms and Conditions for full details.

We have partnered with the Essex Chambers of Commerce to offer expert training in free trade.

If you are a Chelmsford business who imports and exports or your business is planning to start trading globally, you need to understand the fundamentals. This will enable you to move your goods efficiently and compliantly across the UK border.

The Essex Chambers of Commerce are offering fully-funded, accredited virtual training to businesses that meet the criteria. The funded training will equip you with the tools you need to overcome the many hurdles and grow your business overseas successfully and compliantly.

For further information, eligibility criteria and to apply for the scheme, you can visit the Essex Chamber of Commerce's website Essex Chambers of Commerce’s website.

Apply for procurement training

If you want to supply goods or services to the public sector, you need to get ‘tender fit’ before applying for contracts. 

We have partnered with BIZphit to offer procurement workshops and one-to-one support covering:

  • the basics of public sector tendering requirements
  • how to find public sector contracts
  • how to register for contracts
  • what you need to do to be ready to supply the public sector
  • what buyers look for when assessing your business
  • how to find sub-contracting opportunities
  • where local authorities place their contract opportunities
  • what SQ, PQQ and ITT mean and top tips for completing them

This training is fully funded by us, meaning there is no cost to you to take part.

Apply for Instagram training

Instagram is a key tool for businesses, helping them to promote products and services, boost their brand and increase sales.

We have partnered with Squarestar Digital to offer businesses free one-to-one training and support on Instagram. Whether you are brand new to the world of Instagram or a daily user, this training will help you get the most from the platform.

This training is fully funded by us, meaning there is no cost to you to take part.

We recognise that businesses are worried about rising costs.

We have produced a summary of support and services which may be able to help you during this difficult time.

Energy bills

In September 2022, the government announced a Energy Bill Relief Scheme for businesses and other non-domestic energy users, to protect them from the soaring energy costs. 

Ofgem offers advice to businesses who are worried about their energy bills.

Citizens Advice also provide advice for small businesses who can’t afford their energy bills.

Reduce energy costs

Reducing energy and fuel usage not only reduces your carbon footprint, but also helps the bottom line.

The Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) programme provides free business support to help your business to become more profitable while protecting the environment and encouraging low carbon solutions. This includes grants for businesses of up to £10,000.

The Carbon Trust energy benchmark tool helps small and medium-sized businesses assess typical energy use in their sector and also has a range of other online tools to help businesses reduce their energy and consumption costs.

Finance, loans and debt management

The Recovery Loan Scheme helps small and medium sized businesses access loans and finance to aid their recovery.

The British Business Bank has free resources around debt management, cash flow, and understanding and managing debt. If you are struggling to pay your self-assessment tax bill, HMRC is offering instalments and payment plans.

Business Debtline is a charity that provides free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. It also provides a range of debt advice factsheets on topics ranging from business debts, debt solutions to dealing with creditors.

Recruitment support

Skills and recruitment are key issues for businesses, and we are aware that many businesses are struggling to fill vacancies in the current climate.

Find a job service is the government’s official job vacancy service, supporting employers to fill their vacancies.

The Essex Opportunities Portal offers employers a free service to recruit individuals with the necessary skills to start work immediately. This one stop shop also provides information and advice on jobs, careers, skills, and training.

The Essex Wellbeing Service supports Essex businesses via their Working Well Accreditation.

This consists of:

  • workplace health and wellbeing sessions
  • Mental Health First Aid training
  • the Working Well Accreditation, where organisations can be recognised for their commitment to staff health and wellbeing

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